Friday 23 March 2018

Abduction once again

Paul Whitington

(15A, limited release, 90 minutes)

Director: Lola Doillon Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Pio Mamai, Jean-Philippe écoffey,


Kristin Scott Thomas first peddled her brittle charms in quintessentially British films like Four Weddings and a Funeral and The English Patient, but she has lived in Paris since the 80s and now has appeared more in French films than Anglophone ones.

The results of these cross-cultural endeavours have been mixed. She's been very good in Tell No One and I've Loved You So Long, but had ropier moments in Leaving, Sarah's Key and this tedious and suspect thriller.

The plot of Contre Toi couldn't be simpler: Scott Thomas is Anna Cooper, a Parisian gynaecologist, and is returning home from work one night when she's abducted.

She's taken to a ramshackle house in the suburbs and locked in a small, windowless room. Her captor brings her food and a bucket, and eventually elaborates on what his problem is.

He is Yann (Pio Marmai), and Anna treated his wife during her pregnancy. The woman died, Yann reckons it's Anna's fault.

Which is all fair enough, but having established her slender premise, writer/director Lola Doillon squanders the drama in a series of verbose, repetitive and aridly static scenes.

The old Stockholm Syndrome makes an inevitable appearance, and Anna's passivity during her ordeal seems incredible. But then neither of these hashed-together characters amount to anything approaching a believable human being, and so far as I'm concerned they deserve each other.

Day & Night

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment